You Don’t Need More Time. You Need To Spend Less Time on BS.

Less screen time for less overstimulation, more relaxation, and more mental space

Gracia Kleijnen
3 min readJul 5, 2022

The Blob looking over-stimulated, wearing a purple shirt and holding up a phone with a “melting” home screen that shows a bunch of Social Media icons. Green background.
All illustrations by the author

Two to four hours every day. Spent on… nothing, really. It’s embarrassing to admit.

The average user spent 4.1 to 4.8 hours on their phone in 2021. That’s 1.752 hours per year, or a total of… 73 days. Despite that, the majority of smartphone users experience screen time to have a negative effect on their overall mental health.

Then why do we keep scrolling?

Boredom. Curiosity. Loneliness. Procrastination. One pickup leads to the next. Before you know it, another hour has flown by. Instead of sitting with stillness, you spent it happily scrolling away, hooked on the high by one dopamine rush after the other.

The next time you go to a party, pay attention to those around you. The second they are not stimulated, people get uncomfortable and reach for their phones. They cannot sit still and crave constant stimulation.

What happened to mindful phone usage? What is mindful even?

On days where I feel mentally exhausted, my screen time is up. Could there be a correlation? Why do I keep grabbing the phone? Definitely not because I need to.

  • To “check” if I have any new messages. I turned notifications off to prevent distractions. Unlocking the phone and going through my messaging apps every hour defeats the purpose.
  • I work behind a computer all day. Once I grab the phone, it’s a sign I need a break away from the screens for a while. Exchanging the computer screen with a smaller version makes no sense.
  • When I need to do something I find complicated or challenging, I try to avoid the task at hand. By grabbing the phone and getting that “reward” for something that feels more manageable, such as a scroll on social.
  • By the end of the day, my willpower is depleted. If the phone is nearby, and I give in to the scroll, it’s over.

All of this is nonsense, of course. I don’t need more stimulation, exhaustion, often paired with a headache, eye strain, and a sore thumb from scrolling.

Gracia Kleijnen

Sheets maker. Comic illustrator. Words on relationships, mental health, productivity & self-development in 35+ pubs. 📕Book author: